Senior Kailee Gifford becomes new kicker for the football team


Justin Su

Kailee Gifford (12) kicks the ball during an away game at Prospect HS. The eagles lost the game.

by Julia Huang , TALON Co-Organizations Editor

For the past three years, all kickers for the football team have been soccer players, and Kailee Gifford (12) continued the pattern this year.

“I get asked a lot if kicking a football is just like kicking a soccer ball, and it honestly is. It’s the same exact motion,” she said. “I think being a soccer player helps you in terms of technique and accuracy because on a soccer goal, it’s a lot smaller and shorter, and you have to aim better. If you’re kicking a football, you have a bigger range.”

Her experience on the soccer team has helped prepare her for the role. Oisin Coveney (‘16) played kicker last year, and Alyssa Amick (‘15) for two years before that.

“It’s something that I wanted to do ever since freshman year, and this year a lot of my best friends are seniors on the team,” Kailee said. “I just thought it would be really fun to try out and be a part of it because last year I was an athletic trainer, and so I realized I would be spending a lot of hours with the team anyway.”

Her teammates have encouraged her and treated her fairly. Player Davis Howard (12) appreciates her presence on the team.

“Kailee is my best friend, so it’s great having her,” Davis Howard (12) said. “She gets us fired up in the games because whenever she’s in our coach always yells, ‘No one touches her; no one hits her,’ so everyone’s [thinks], ‘this is what we’re doing right now.’ Since our other kicker got injured, we don’t have a backup kicker, and [she’s doing] a very good job.”

Friend Peter Connors (11) also supports her playing for the team.

“I think she’s a great player,” Peter said. “She’s an amazing soccer player, so I know that she’s a great kicker. She’s better than anyone else on the football team at kicking. She definitely makes the team better.”

Before, Kailee would sit on the bleachers watching the football game, but now she plays on the field with the team.

“I like the intensity of games and getting to be out there for Friday night lights and all the hype, and this year I actually get to experience it as a player,” she said. “I really like just how much time I get to spend with some of my best friends. It’s been a really good experience so far.”

Kailee does not plan on playing football after the season. The football team will play against St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School on Sept. 30.